Have you ever felt really strong about something but didn’t exactly know why? I helped my son with some writing assignments this weekend and felt myself thinking about how angry the assignment made me feel. There I was, walking out in nature this morning completely missing out on the serenity because I was knee deep in my own mad. Why did he have to write essays making connections between his assigned reading and another book? Why did they he to explore the connection of the book to to his own life and the world? Why was I feeling so darn mad?
Tonight I went for another walk. I noticed two stars parallel in the sky. I couldn’t help but think that was my own marriage. My husband was one star and I was the other but we seemed worlds apart. The bills, the struggles with the kids, stress, jobs, chores, emails all made us feel further and further apart. Like it or not, that stuff gets in between and before you know it you are trying your best to fight your way back.
I got it then. My anger and my overreaction to a silly assignment became visibly clear. I am an over thinker. I have lost the art of reading to read or walking to just enjoy walking. I analyze my steps or I replay conversations searching for something deeper or something maybe that should have been different. My brain has been trained to find meaning in a world that sometimes doesn’t really require any. My brain can no longer shut itself off or find quiet in the softness of my shoes as they hit the pavement. I cannot even look at the stars without thinking something profound. Perhaps we should stop requiring our kids to think more and allow them to just be more. Imagine just reading a book to enjoy the escape from real life. Imagine taking a walk without setting a goal to reach 10,000 steps. Imagine your mind not being the roadblock to pure happiness and utter enjoyment. Imagine a few moments of no thinking and total mindfulness lost in the beauty of the forest or in the words of a book. Imagine looking up and enjoying the beauty of the stars with no thoughts running through your head. Imagine a world with less thinking required and more being. Imagine!